Driving While Intoxicated
By: Mary Ann Gorman
Driving while intoxicated, whether you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, is a serious offense. Most states will punish a DWI, also known as a DUI, with jail time, heavy fines, or a suspended license.
The best method to avoid a DWI arrest is to drink responsibly and use alternative forms of transportation. Of course, if you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, you may still be able to fight the charge.
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Driving While Intoxicated Laws
Because accidents caused by people driving while intoxicated often lead to serious injuries, particularly for law-abiding drivers and pedestrians, state laws treat the matter very seriously.
The laws governing driving while intoxicated vary widely by state, although there are a few characteristics of DUI arrests that are fairly universal. These include:
- Blood alcohol content. The legal limit for blood alcohol level is .08. This is non-negotiable. However, you could still face penalties if you're found driving with lesser amounts of alcohol in your system. In some states, the penalties go up significantly if you're found to have particularly high BAC levels.
- Serious punishment. Most states allow courts to make DWI offenders pay heavy fines, give up their license, and even serve time in jail.
- Low tolerance. Even if you have a high tolerance for alcohol, DUI courts have little patience for drunk drivers.
In addition to these basic characteristics of DWI laws, there are other variables depending on your region. For example, some states treat certain DUI violations as misdemeanors, while others treat them as felonies. To learn more about your state's drunk driving laws, contact a local DWI lawyer.
Preventing Driving While Intoxicated
To prevent driving while intoxicated, it is best to make a plan before a night of drinking. If you know you'll have a safe trip home, you'll be able to relax and fully enjoy yourself.
In addition, you should plan an alternative way home even if you've just had a few drinks. The law doesn't care if you have a high tolerance—your blood alcohol content is more important to the cops than your champion liver.
So, to avoid being arrested for driving while intoxicated, consider taking the following alternative forms of transportation:
- Take a bus or a train. Public transportation can be fun, especially at night with fellow weekend warriors.
- Hail a cab. Sure, this costs a bit, but it's far cheaper than paying thousand of dollars in DWI fines.
- Use a designated driver. This may seem like a thankless task, but designated drivers save lives every day.
By following these tactics, you should be safe from DWI arrests and other drivers will be safe from a potential drunk driver. Everybody wins. If, however, you've been arrested for driving while intoxicated, you can still fight for your legal rights.
To learn more about drunk driving laws in your state, contact a local DWI lawyer today.